Will Geisdorf, CMT, joined Allegiant Private Advisors as a Senior Research Analyst in the spring of 2020. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT), designated a Subject Matter Expert by the CMT Association and currently serves on the CMT Curriculum and Test Committee. As a member of Allegiant's Investment Committee, Will conducts macro, fundamental, and technical research that helps shape clients' portfolios.
We hope you've enjoyed the opportunity to read many of Will's research briefs over this past year. In this new article, we've asked him to share more about his personal story and path to Allegiant.
The start of a global pandemic is not the ideal time for a mid-life career change, but such is life. In April of last year, I took the plunge and joined Allegiant Private Advisors. It was a decision I agonized over, but have yet to second guess. Even though most of my interaction with clients and colleagues has been virtual, I feel like I have been part of the Allegiant team for years.
I am a native Sarasotan with deep ties to the area. My grandmother attended Out-of-Door Academy in the 1930s and my parents both taught in the Sarasota County school system for over 30 years. I was raised in rural Sarasota with my two younger sisters on a two-acre property that often included horses, pigs, chickens, dogs, and cats. I grew up playing all sports before focusing on golf at Riverview High School. When I was not on the golf course, I was often deep-sea fishing with my dad.
My grandfather introduced me to the stock market at a young age. He was a daily reader of the Wall Street Journal and would have CNBC on in the background when I visited. During my senior year of high school our economics class participated in the Florida Stock Market Game. The portfolio I put together generated one of the highest returns in the region. That experience kindled a passion for financial markets that still burns strong today.
After high school, I studied finance at the University of Central Florida. My first job after graduation was as an analyst at a foreign currency trading firm, covering the European markets from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. There is a lot of time for self-reflection when you are working the graveyard shift. It was there I realized that to progress in my career, I needed to learn how to code. So I enrolled in introductory programming courses at the local community college.
Those basic programming skills helped bring me back to Sarasota. In May 2007, I was hired at Ned Davis Research in Venice. The firm conducts investment research for hedge funds, pension funds, endowments, financial services firms like Schwab, and large RIAs similar to Allegiant. Over +13 years at Ned Davis I was able to travel around the world and work with some of the brightest minds in finance.
It was during this time that I met my future wife, Jill. We married in the summer of 2013 and now have a six-year-old son named Quinn. As Quinn grew older, my frequent travel schedule became more of a challenge. So, I started to reach out to local connections in the financial services industry.
Two of those connections helped bring me to Allegiant. The first being Conni Arledge, who retired from Allegiant in 2017. Conni raised her family in the same neighborhood where my wife grew up and their families remain close to this day. Conni spoke highly of the tightly knit group Marty had assembled and thought my skill set would complement the existing team.
Luke Nicholas was my second connection to Allegiant. Our dads were the best of friends, coaching and teaching together since the early 1980s at Cardinal Mooney and Riverview. Luke's dad holds a special place in my heart, remaining a loyal friend throughout my dad's battle with Alzheimer's Disease.
In the fall of 2019, I ran into Luke at a charity golf tournament. He mentioned that Allegiant was looking to expand the investment management group and wondered if I was interested. After several meetings with the Allegiant team, I knew I had found home.
Despite overlapping with a global pandemic, my first year at Allegiant has been incredibly rewarding. In previous roles, I took pride in the investment research I produced, but rarely saw how that advice was implemented. Here at Allegiant, I can see firsthand the positive impact my work has on the financial well-being of our clients. While I have enjoyed meeting numerous clients virtually over the past year, I look forward to face-to-face meetings in the not-too-distant future.
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